The second paper assignment is a critical analysis of
Hippopotamus (“William”), ca. 1961-1878 BCE, faience, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Links to an external site.)
Your essay should build upon the descriptions outlined in the formal analysis and now address issues such as the object’s function, original context, and symbolism. Research what the symbolic aspects of your object are and how contemporary viewers would have understood and interacted with the object in question. Conclude the paper with a self-reflection component that explores the pros and cons of a formal analysis versus a research paper.

The purpose of this essay is to introduce analytic approaches to the study of art and show the strengths and weaknesses of a formal analysis. For this assignment, please consult at least two additional scholarly books or articles and cite them accordingly. Do not cite random websites. Instead consult search engines such as Google Books, Google Scholar, JSTOR, Oxford Art Online, or Please see the Pages tab in Canvas for links to approved websites. You may cite information from the museum websites listed below. Do not use sources that date to before 1980.

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Please also include a bibliography at the end of your paper. The bibliography is not a part of the total page length. For citations use the Chicago Manual Style: (Links to an external site.).

Good verbs for writing about art:

Suggests Intimates illuminate depict

Conveys Portrays implement display

Seems Appears exhibit demonstrate

Might indicate emphasize contend

Other tips:

A paragraph must have a minimum of three sentences.
Avoid superlatives: fantastic, amazing, awesome, beautiful, wonderful, the best, the worst, etc.
Avoid making unsubstantiated judgment calls: always ask yourself can you prove what you are saying.
Don’t assume to know an artist’s intent and be aware that a work of art can have more than one meaning or function.

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